Colour­ful birth of a 1970s land­mark

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Special Report -

pan­els grad­u­ally ap­pear­ing, some long-term Ash­ford res­i­dents and many new­com­ers are un­aware of the build­ing’s orig­i­nal con­struc­tion.

Dur­ing the past year, the 1970s land­mark Char­ter House build­ing has not only changed its name to The Panorama, but ma­jor works to con­vert it into mod­ern dwellings and re­tail space have pro­gressed rapidly.

With trans­form­ing fea­tures such as new win­dows and

Many im­ages ex­ist of the con­struc­tion of Char­ter House, and you could say I have the ‘baby al­bums’ of the build­ing, which is 39 years old this year.

I have a sub­stan­tial ar­chive of im­ages and film, in­clud­ing some 16mm Telecine taken by South­ern Tele­vi­sion, which held the re­gional broad­cast­ing li­cence for the South and South East un­til 1981.

But, rarely do pic­tures crop up of the site be­fore any works com­menced, par­tic­u­larly in colour.

A re­cent find in the base­ment of the build­ing, un­earthed sev­eral slides of the site as it was in 1970.

They were taken al­most a year be­fore the bull­doz­ers and earth­movers moved in.

This week’s trio of im­ages – dat­ing back to the start of the 1970s – show the site at the very be­gin­ning.

Do you have any photographs or slides that you would be will­ing to lend to me, to en­able them to be scanned and then fea­tured in the Ken­tish Ex­press? If you do, then please write to me: Steve Sal­ter, Ken­tish Ex­press Re­mem­ber When, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, Kent TN24 8JR, email me at re­mem­ber­when_k­mash@ hot­ or find me on Twit­ter @SteveKMAsh­ford.

Al­ter­na­tively, you can leave a tele­phone mes­sage for me with brief de­tails by call­ing 01233 623232.

Please sup­ply a re­turn ad­dress for the re­turn of orig­i­nals.

A view of Knotts Cot­tages, North Street, Ash­ford in 1970, taken from an up­per floor at 22 North Street, look­ing over the rooftops to­wards the Lower High Street. The for­mer Down­town Diner (now the Press Rooms) can be seen far right of the pic­ture.

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